Spicy Shrimp and Arugula Pasta

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This is the sort of beauty that results from experimenting with the ingredients you have on hand. I had leftover shrimp from a package of Christmas shrimp cocktail and thought why not cook with it instead of dip it in what was left of the mediocre cocktail sauce it came with? So I came up with this pasta dish. Aesthetic-wise, I was pleased, but the flavor was too acidic, due to the white wine vinegar on top of the lemon (if I weren’t twenty, I would have used regular white wine…).  I added sugar and chicken stock to counter the acidity, but thought maybe a cream-based sauce would be better for next time. Recipe here:

  • Mix of butter and olive oil
  • White onion
  • Garlic
  • Red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • Tomatoes, chopped (preferably a sweet variety like grape or even sun-dried)
  • Shrimp (uncooked will have a better flavor, but any kind will work)
  • White wine (not white wine vinegar…)
  • Lemon juice
  • Fish or chicken stock
  • Salt and pepper
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Sugar, to taste
  • Flour (if the sauce needs thickening)
  • Spaghetti or any similar thin pasta
  • Arugula (stirred in at last minute)
  • For garnish: green onions, chopped pistachios, and fresh Parmesan cheese

I’d give you a method, but I cook in an unpredictable college-apartment kitchen that abides by its own rules. My best advice: taste, taste, taste, and don’t overcook the vegetables!

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